Long-term jobless numbers swell in ‘recovery’

It’s hard to remember but the economic recovery began officially three years ago. While it’s a positive that the most recent data show Minnesota adding jobs, those numbers mask at least one seriously troubling trend: The number of Minnesotans out of work for more than a year has skyrocketed during the “recovery.”

According to the state Department of Employment and Economic Development:

While the overall unemployment picture in Minnesota is improving, near normal unemployment rates disguise a hidden trend of people who are underemployed in terms of hours and pay or who are working in jobs that aren’t on par with the ones they lost during the recession.

Moreover, the number of people who have been unable to find work for well over a year continues to swell.

Incumbent workers looking to upgrade, new entrants in the labor market and newly laid off workers might find the economy only a little slow, but many others face real and continuing challenges in their personal economic situations.

Here’s a look at DEED’s chart:


If you’ve been out of work for a year or more, it’s hard to make your way back into the labor force. Job growth here and in the country during the ‘recovery’ has been tepid.

Things are improving now. But what happens to that population of long-term unemployed — a population that’s leaped from fewer than 10,000 adult Minnesotans in 2007 to nearly 50,000 in 2012?

— Paul Tosto